1. Hackers, Shelbyville
In the game of golf, a hacker is a person who is a poor golfer. Thus the theme of this restaurant in Shelbyville. Chef Brandon Tonnies cooks up delicious steaks, pasta, sandwiches and salads prepared fresh daily. For dessert, don’t miss B’s Signature Bread Pudding, their unique specialty. It is made with croissants and apples, baked, battered, and deep fried. It is served between two layers of white chocolate and caramel drizzle. Yum!
Location: 106 N Jackson Street
2. Thee Abbey Kitchen – Arcadia Academy, Ironton
Thee Abbey Kitchen in the Arcadia Academy is just one feature of this historic destination tourist attraction. The former Ursuline Academy is now known as the Arcadia College Historic District, and features 8 buildings, all from the mid to late 1800s. Besides the restaurant, it features a bed and breakfast, wedding location, a chapel, gymnasium, and a theater. There are also walking and horse-drawn tours.
The family-style restaurant also has a bakery and an old fashioned ice cream shop, with frozen custard made at the on-site creamery.
Location: 211 South College Street
3. Ozark Lodge & Steakhouse, Bethel
Ozark Lodge & Steakhouse is a member of the Heartland Community, an international Christian community and ministry. They are known for their smoked meats and their special Sunday Grand Buffet. From 11am to 2pm, the buffet offers two carving meats, chicken, fish, side dishes, and a full salad and bread bar. Desserts include items like cheesecake, pies, cobblers and homemade candies.
On the first Sunday of each month the buffet includes an omelet bar, and on the third Sunday it includes a pancake and waffle bar. The steakhouse is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, plus the Sunday brunch.
4. Iron Horse, Blackwater
Chef Tracy at the Iron Horse combines her experience living in New Orleans and being trained in Italy to create a unique menu with Creole, Italian, southern and American classics combined. For the lunch menu, gourmet sandwiches and burgers are served with Memphis-style coleslaw, sweet potato waffle fries, and sliced deep-fried pickles.
The dinner menu features items like shrimp Creole, Italian pasta, Mediterranean-style fish, and Kansas City strip steak. Unique starters include Southern-fried cheese grits, fried stuffed ravioli, and fried green tomatoes.
Location: 101 Main Street
5. Kline’s, Rosebud
Kline’s serves down-home cooking at its finest. With classic old country music playing in the background, customers can enjoy everything from classic country cooking staples like fried catfish to something a little different…alligator. Make sure to save room for one of their delicious homemade desserts. A friendly staff, great service, and fantastic food, Kline’s is a sure bet for a great dining experience.
Location: 302 Old Motel Road
6. Kozy Kitchen AKA The Kozy, Bloomsdale
Kozy Kitchen serves items like fish tacos, homemade burgers, and sandwiches, served with hand cut fries or onion rings. They also serve breakfast all day with items like omelets, biscuits and gravy, and pancakes, waffles or French toast. Top it all off with one of their delicious homemade desserts.
Location: 31 Mill Hill Road
7. Cook Shack BBQ & More, Osceola
This cute little restaurant located at Truman Lake offers casual home cooked dining at great prices. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner with a simple menu filled with traditional American dishes, barbeque, burgers, sandwiches and steaks.
Location: 8827 NE Hwy ZZ
8. Catalpa, Arrow Rock
Located in a cute little red brick house in the cute little historic town of Arrow Rock, Catalpa is fine dining restaurant with an eclectic, seasonal menu. Arrow Rock is a village of 56 people located on the Missouri River at the beginning of the Santa Fe Trail. Catalpa has only 8 tables in the dining room, one Chef’s Table in the kitchen and a screened porch and brick patio, utilized when weather permits. Produce and meats are all sourced locally whenever possible, and the menu varies with the seasons. A fun, relaxed atmosphere and great food make it a popular place, so given the size, reservations are required.
Location: 510 High Street
9. Heroes Restaurant, Warrensburg
The delightful Heroes Restaurant and Pub opened in 1981, and has since expanded into 4 downtown storefronts seating 175 and a banquet room seating 60. Decorated with political, sports and movie memorabilia depicting heroes of the past and present, they serve up American classics like burgers, hand cut steaks, freshly cut fries and hand-breaded onion rings. Dinner entrees include steak, chicken, seafood, and pasta. Top it off with one of their delicious desserts.
Location: 107 W Pine
10. Emmet’s Kitchen & Tap, Fayette
Their Facebook page will tell you a visit to Emmet’s is “a pretty little drive to total satisfaction.” This small but charming pub and restaurant serves delicious food made to order. You’re never going to have a bad meal at Emmet's, but a local favorite is their catfish filet. You can get as an entree, sandwich, or on a salad. Great service, a casual, friendly atmosphere and great food combine to make Emmet’s worth the drive. Look for the blue awning.
Location: 111 N Main Street
11. Ozark Café, West Plains
Ozark Café in West Plains has a traditional small town atmosphere. They serve traditional American foods like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches and southern. It is also a great place to get a good old-fashioned country breakfast.
Location: 662 Missouri Avenue
What is your favorite small town restaurant? Are than any others that we still haven’t covered? Please share in the comments below.